Last Updated on March 1, 2013
The following programs allow students to work while attending a school in the U.S:
Any full-time student in good academic standing may work 20 hours a week at an on-campus facility during the school year and full-time between quarters or semesters.
Pilot Off-Campus Employment Program
This program permits 20 hours a week of off-campus employment at a private business. Onerous paperwork and recruitment requirements often deter employers from this program.
Curricular Practical Training
This training must be offered in connection with a field of study. Generally, students must arrange curricular practical training with academic advisors, with the school processing the necessary paperwork. Students who work for a year or longer in this program lose eligibility for post-completion practical training.
Post-Completion Practical Training Program
This popular program permits students to work off-campus for one year after completion of all degree requirements. Application for this program must be made between 90 days before and 30 days after completion of a course of study. To become eligible for this program, first find a job and then seek the school’s approval of the employment. The school files the necessary forms with the INS.
After INS approval, obtain an Employment Authorization Card (Form I-765) to work legally. File Form I-765 and go to the nearest INS office for photographing. The Employment Authorization Card should be available in one or two days.
Students cannot leave the U.S. after graduation and then apply for post-completion practical training. Practical training must be approved before leaving the U.S., and students may travel after practical training approval. Students have 60 days from the end of the practical training period to depart the U.S., resume studies or change to another visa status.